Iceland Threatens Boycotts; Israel stays in Eurovision 2024

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has greenlit Israel’s participation in the competition, aligning with other organizations. EBU, the world’s largest community of public service media, boasts 68 members across 56 countries. Israel, as a News Exchange Participant, gains access to the EBU News Exchange, alongside other EBU Members and media partners. Israel received support from other countries to compete in Eurovision 2024 after Iceland‘s Association of Composers and Lyricists (FTT) urged RUV (Iceland’s national public-service broadcasting organization) to refrain from participating in Eurovision 2024 due to concerns about Israel. RTE, the Irish broadcaster, received a petition with over 500 signatures, outlining comparable requests.

Announcement published on the FTT’s Facebook Page

The board of FTT tonight sent this challenge to the radio director and board of RUV:

Reykjavík December 11, 2023.

The board of FTT, an association of composers and lyricists, calls on RÚV not to participate in Eurovision in 2024 unless Israel is denied participation in the competition on the same grounds as Russia in the last competition.

We all have a duty to take a stand against war and the killing of civilians and innocent children. We always have the choice not to put our name to such things, whether we are individuals or state institutions.

We owe it to the nations that act with military force to not share with them in an event that is always characterized by joy and optimism.

Board of FTT:

Bragi Valdimar Skúlason, chairman
Védís Hervör Árnadóttir, vice-chairman
Sóley Stefánsdóttir
Ragnheiður Gröndal
Andri Ólafsson
Hallur Ingólfsson
Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir

English translation of the announcement by FTT posted on their Facebook profile on 12/12/2023

The Eurovision Broadcasting Union advocates against banning Israel

After they received a statement in a letter by EBU, the Jerusalem Post informed that the Israel Broadcasting Authority adheres to all competition rules and should not be banned from participating due to recent calls for boycotts amidst the Gaza conflict.

“The Israel Broadcasting Authority adheres to all competition rules and should not be banned from participating due to recent calls for boycotts amidst the Gaza conflict. They stressed that Eurovision is a competition between public broadcasters and not governments, with Israeli public broadcasting having participated for five decades.

Furthermore, the union affirmed that Israel participates in other international competitions without exclusion. It emphasized that Eurovision remains an apolitical event, uniting audiences worldwide.”

conveyed from the online newspaper The Jerusalem Post. The full article “Iceland threatens to pull out of Eurovision if Israel competes

Who Will Represent Israel on Eurovision 2024?

Israel will participate on Eurovision 2024 despite Iceland’s boycott threats. IPBC/Kan, Keshet, and Tedy Productions will choose the representative through the talent show “HaKokhav HaBa” (Rising Star). Despite public support for Noa Kirel, who reached third place in the previous year, the selection returns to “The Next Star” program. The collaboration between Keshet and IPBC aims for a strong representation in Eurovision.

KAN | Noa Kirel – Unicorn – ?? Official Israeli Broadcasting Corporation entry for Eurovision Song Contest 2023

“HaKokhav HaBa,” Israel’s Eurovision representative selection show, began on 31/10/2023, with auditions airing on 20/11/2023. Despite delays, the show has resumed production and broadcasting.

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